I can’t even tell you how long it’s been since a book legitimately caused me to lose sleep, or consumed my thoughts to such extremes that I became poor company because literally all I wanted to do was read and read and read some more. That used to be my standard mode of operation when reading anything, but for the past several months even the best of books haven’t been able to elicit this type of response. I’ve been reading responsibly, able to put a book down to hold a discussion or do work, for far too long. I missed being completely absorbed by and addicted to a book.
But guess what?! I finally succumbed to book addiction again, and I enjoyed every second of it. I absolutely loved The Others series by Anne Bishop, and was sad when it came to an end. Imagine my delight upon hearing that she was working on more stories in that world, just with a different cast of characters. I was incredibly excited to revisit a world I love, but also hesitant to venture back into it without the cast of characters I had embraced. I needn’t have worried. If anything, being introduced to a new cast of characters was refreshing, and I came to love them as much as the original cast. We get more of the terra indigene, more of the Sanguinati, more of the Elementals and Elders. We see life in a small lake town instead of in the heart of a city. We see a normal human woman working to overcome her demons and build a new life for herself in the midst of the Others. And it was all absolutely wonderful.
Anne Bishop does a good job of creating main characters who are strong women and good men, as I saw mentioned in an article about this series. But she also does a great job with her villains. Unlike a lot of popular fiction now, Bishop’s good guys and bad guys are always clearly cast in black and white instead of gray, which is honestly kind of a nice break from the moral ambiguity that defines so much modern fiction. But my favorite aspect of this series remains the Others, in all their various forms. I love how their presence changes how humans live their lives.
My second favorite thing about this series is the writing. It’s incredibly simplistic, but purposefully so. The simple prose lends a childlikeness to the characters, which is both appropriate in regard to how the Others live and define the interaction of humans, and an interesting contrast to the brutality inflicted upon those who cross the Others. There is something about the counterbalance of the innocent tone of the prose and the brutal violence often found in the pages that just works incredibly well.
To the best of my knowledge, these new novels in The Others series will be standalones in other locations in this world, taking place after the events of Etched in Bone (book 5). I don’t know how often characters will cross over, or how often places will be revisited, but I honestly am okay with however Bishop decides to carry on. The world she created is rich in lore and possibilities, and I can’t wait to see where she takes us next!